Betelehem Alemu is the founder of soleRebels, a shoe company and also a world’s fastest-growing businesses. Her story is one of resilience and determination. The 22nd global store for her branded shoe has recently opened, which shows that African businesses can flourish across the world.
From a company that started at the backyard of her grandmother in Zenebework, soleRebels has grown to hire at least 100 employees and created at least 1200 jobs. With the new store opened in Hamburg to add to the others in Silicon Valley, Athens, Barcelona and in Taiwan, Betelehem Alemu wants to have 500 stores globally.
Born in 1980 in one of the poorest sections of Addis Ababa, she founded soleRebels to provide solid community-based jobs. Before this, she was an accountant at one of the private companies in Addis. She came up with a plan and took $5,000 of her own money to set up a workshop.
Read a complete portrait in Forbes
Photo: Lionesses of Africa